Attendance in Primary School: Factors and Consequences
Australian Government Department of Social Services Occasional Paper No 51
98 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2014
Date Written: October 1, 2014
This report aims to understand attendance patterns in primary school, and examines the effects of students’ low attendance on their academic achievement (numeracy and reading) in primary school by addressing the following research questions: 1. To what extent is school attendance in the primary years influenced by child, family and school characteristics? 2. Do the factors associated with school attendance vary as children get older and become more independent? 3. Do the factors associated with non-attendance differ for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds (i.e. those whose parents do and do not receive income support)? 4. Is a child’s academic achievement influenced by prior attendance in primary school — and if so, to what extent? 5. Are there any characteristics of family and/or school that offset the effects of non-attendance on academic achievement? 6. Do the effects of absence on academic achievement differ for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds (i.e. those whose parents do and do not receive income support)? The analyses make use of data from the first four waves of Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to examine the differences in attendance rate at different ages. In addition, they use data from the National Assessment Program — Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) to examine the academic achievement of children with different attendance patterns. The study includes children aged from 4-5 to 10-11 years old.
Keywords: school attendance, academic outcomes, NAPLAN, LSAC
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